Two Ukrainian MPs take over troubled Prominvest

17:14, 11 November 2008
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Via an Austrian holding company

Two Ukrainian members of parliament are the new owners of the country`s sixth largest bank Prominvestbank via an Austrian holding company, the bank`s receiver said on Tuesdaym, Reuters reported.

Volodymyr Krotyuk, also deputy chairman of Ukraine`s central bank, confirmed media reports that brothers Andriy and Serhiy Klyuyev, members of the opposition Regions Party, were among Prominvest bank`s key new shareholders.

"As of today, there is an investor for... Austrian holding company Slav AG," Krotyuk told a news conference.

"Four legal entities in Ukraine that are part of this company (Slav AG) hold nearly 34 percent of the shares (under the new deal). A further 34 percent is held by an individual on the board of the company."

He declined to give any further details on the identity of the other new shareholders of the bank.

"The final beneficiaries are two individuals, residents of Ukraine who have already been identified by the media."

Krotyuk said the takeover would be complete after the purchase of new shares valued at about 900 million hryvnias ($155 million) as well as an inflow to the bank of another 3.6 billion hryvnias in the form of deposits or subordinate debt.

He said the shares had to be issued and purchased within 10 working days and the 3.6 billion hryvnias injected by Dec. 5.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Monday gave the new buyers a month to stabilise Prominvest`s operations or face the prospect of nationalisation. She had already called for its nationalisation last month before the buyers were found.

Prominvest, a bank based in eastern Ukraine and used by the country`s heavy industry, was placed in receivership last month after a run on its deposits following media reports of a murky takeover deal. Authorities stressed that the run was unconnected to the global financial crisis.

The central bank barred all withdrawals from Prominvest for the next six months. In a bid to stop runs on any other banks, it later also barred early withdrawals of term deposits from all banks.

Reuters via Guardian

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